Check, Please! How Three Little Numbers Reduce Picking Errors
Picking in a warehouse means doing the same tasks, often in the same routes, and with the same products, day after day.
In anything, when routines become too familiar, it’s easy to go through the motions without paying attention to what you’re doing.
For example, if you shop in the same grocery store for the same items on a regular basis, you might develop a rhythm of visiting one section of the store before going to another and reaching for products that are in the same place every week. And if you’re not paying close attention, you might totally miss a product if you move on from its area too quickly or if it’s moved to a new location. You may also pick a grocery item up without reading its expiration date or checking that it’s the right flavor - and you won’t realize it’s not what you wanted until you get home.
The same human error occurs every day and likely every shift in distribution centers everywhere, but the cost is greater than just an altered grocery list. Picking errors rack up and result in dissatisfied customers, lost time, and spending more money per pick to make up for the error.
Voice-picking warehouses have a unique feature that reduces picking errors called check digits.
What’s a Check Digit?
Check digits are small sets of random numbers assigned to and labeled next to specific products in a distribution center running on voice. The voice dialog instructs the picker to pick a product and read a specified set of check digits out loud to confirm they’re picking the correct item.
When repeating the same picking routines regularly, workers sometimes end up memorizing these check digits. That’s why the DCs that work with Mountain Leverage typically use a set of three check digits, of which the voice dialog asks the worker to read just one, and change them out regularly to prevent any attempts of memorization.
All of the check digit dialog happens instantaneously while the worker is moving product so no time is lost while ensuring order accuracy.
Reduce Picking Errors with Voice
Voice picking achieves greater accuracy than any other picking system. Most organizations that use voice-directed workflows see accuracy rates up to 99.9%.